Thursday, June 6, 2013

One Carry-On. Two Weeks.

Our two weeks in Europe flew by. I cannot believe we're already home and settling back into daily routines, work, and life. I posted this the day that we left and had lots of questions about how I managed to fit everything into a carry-on. 

When the Chef asked if we could pack in carry-ons, I laughed. I'm the biggest over-packer for trips. Believe me, I didn't think it was possible, but I decided to try especially since we were planning on taking multiple flights, using public transportation, and a few cross country trains.

I did my research and found rave reviews about these packing cubes. I decided it couldn't hurt to purchase them and try using them on this trip. These were the best purchase! It helped me not only pack for the trip but stay organized throughout Europe. Usually, I get to a hotel, open my suitcase and a minute later it looks like a bomb has gone off with clothes everywhere.

I highly recommend them and will be using these for any future trips, even if it's just a weekend to visit family.

I packed my larger items: skirts, dresses, pants, and sweaters in the largest cube.

Short-sleeved shirts and other tops in the medium cube.

The unmentionables in the smallest cube. I did also pack a small Vera Bradley laundry bag for dirty items.

The best part about the cubes was I knew how they fit best in my bag and rearranged them every time the same when we had to repack. It made repacking so much easier.

You're probably also wondering what exactly did I pack to wear for two weeks. I packed a variety of items. Now we had been checking the weather constantly for the cities and planned on it being 50-70 degrees. Unfortunately, it ended up being more like 40-60s, so I could have packed more warmer weather clothes, but I learned for next time.

  • I packed three pairs of pants and a pair of yoga pants for traveling. 
  • Two skirts and two dresses (one was nicer for seeing Wicked).
  • Two scarves (would pack more next time). 
  • Six light/medium weight long-sleeved shirts. Three camis, three sleeve-less tops, and four sweaters. 
  • Four necklaces, a couple of rings, three pairs of earrings, and a watch.
  • One pair of Toms, wedges, and Jack Rogers. Next time I would definitely pack a second pair of flats an skip the Jack Rogers. I had planned on wearing my wedges for dinners, but it ended up being a lot colder than expected, so I only wore them once. 
  • Another key item was my noise machine that ran on batteries. I'm a terrible sleeper, so having my own noise machine helped me fall asleep every night. 
  • One light coat that I wore on the plane and ended up wearing every day. 

I also bought travel items of everything that I could find and transferred items I couldn't find into small travel containers. We also packed a Vera Bradley duffle bag into the Chef's suitcase so that we would have room for gifts or souvenirs on the way home.

And you might be wondering, did I do laundry or re-wear items? We didn't do laundry, and yes, I did re-wear items. Since it was a lot colder than we anticipated, I had to re-wear my pants more than I wanted to but it actually wasn't that bad. I brought tops and bottoms that could be worn together easily in order to mix and match.

Every time I thought about wishing for more items, I remembered how much easier and more convenient it was not to haul around a gigantic suitcase. I would definitely recommend packing in a carry-on!

I'll be sharing our travels: the food, the cities, the travel, how to prepare before getting to the destination, the whole experience with you soon, so please keep checking back. And then I'll also tell you where we're thinking about going next! I definitely have the travel bug.


  1. Wow, love this! I could learn from your light packing for sure!

  2. I seriously think you wrote this post just for me! THANK YOU! I have already added those packing cubes to my Amazon shopping cart. Waiting to ask Joey if he wants some too before I order them. We were hoping to both pack a carry on and then share one checked suitcase. You gave me hope that we can definitely fit everything in 3 suitcases, but I am going to try for only 2! I was hoping to wear shorts while we're there, but now I'm worried I might be too cold. I have two pullover jackets that I was going to bring and was going to wear them every day if I was too cold. Did you notice a lot of pick pocketers? Since we're traveling by ourselves, there is no one who can take pictures of us and I'm so paranoid I would ask someone to take our picture and then they would steal our camera. So how did y'all deal with that?

  3. I'm SO impressed by your packing skills, friend! :)

  4. wow, i'm really impressed! we're going to italy for a few weeks in the fall and would love to be able to bring a carry-on size suitcase if i can make it work.

  5. So proud. WOW!
    Heather at